KIRKHAM Henry Performing Arts Centre in Malton has been been awarded an Inspire Grant from North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) Stronger Communities Programme.

The award of £1,000 has been awarded to provide teacher and staff training to support special need students.

Principal Angela Kirkham said: “We already hold Dance for Parkinson’s classes in York and

is in the process of starting up more classes for Parkinson’s patients and Dance for Dementia in Ryedale.

“Kirkham Henry is an ‘inclusive’ performing arts school and already has children and young adults attending that have additional needs. We really want to open up our classes to more of the community and to be even more inclusive.”

Teacher Michaela Kemp said: “Our teachers are all very passionate about creating a fun friendly and safe environment for children and their families to feel comfortable and enable them to enjoy dance in a happy social setting.

“The grant has helped greatly and enabled me to attending an intensive two-day teacher training course for dance and movement for additional learning needs and special educational needs students.”

Michaela added: “A lot of the staff have taken part in a Makaton signing course and due to how much we use this form of communication with our younger students we are now currently applying to become a Makaton Friendly School.

“We cannot thank NYCC and the stronger communities programme for awarding us this grant and helping us to achieve our goals in providing inclusive dance and improving health and well-being to our local and wider community of all ages.”